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Electricity usage increased by 144% despite being away for 3.5 weeks - how?

  • 7 February 2019
  • 2 replies
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Hi all,

A bit of a puzzling situation. I've just received by energy bill and it's saying my usage for electricity for the past month is up by 144% but I've been away for 3.5 weeks in that period. My gas usage dropped as expected, but I can't understand how my electricity usage increased while away. I submitted my own readings so it's not an estimate.

In fact, my overall usage has gone up massively since I moved to my current flat. I lived in a 2 bedroom house previously and had lower usage rates than I seem to now in a 2 bed flat.

I have recently refurbed my flat, putting in energy efficient appliances, LED bulbs, new boiler with thermostat (heating timed and only on in day if working from home). I've installed energy efficient radiators. I've put in extra floor installation as well. I have double glazing. I do predominantly cold washes.

But my energy costs have doubled. I'm one person so I can't really afford to be paying £120 a month on energy. Obvs its winter so my usage will be higher - and I've only been living here two months so my costs will even out through the year as I use less in summer - but I'm concerned.

My flat has really old meters. Could it be that they're not recording usage accurately? Or is something going on that I should look into? Ideas??

Thanks!
Kirsty
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Best answer by Gif 10 February 2019, 21:44

Few things to check.

Are you sure you are reading the correct meter for your flat? If it's a converted building with many flats, it's sometimes easy to get them confused. There should be a meter reference (MPAN) on the meter which should agree with the MPAN reference on your OVO account - go to "My Profile" - "My Plan" screen to see it.

Can you turn off the main switch on the consumer unit / fusebox in your flat (it'll screw your clocks etc up of course and it'll be dark!) and go take a look at what the meter is doing? It should be completely stopped. If it's whirring around, it's either the wrong meter you've found or it's feeding something else as well as your flat which you need to have investigated.

If that all checks out, it could be the meter but you need to make sure nothing else is drawing power first. Heating sources are the big draws so start looking for them first. Is there an immersion heater on the hot water tank switched on? Are there electrical towel rails switched on? Is there any electrical underfloor heating?

Good luck with the easter egg hunt! 😉

EDIT - Out of interest, what were the dates and readings from the meter while you were away to get an idea of the usage?
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Userlevel 4
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I wonder if the 144% increase is as a result of you returning home after 3.5 weeks? Presumably if this is related to a smart meter calculation it showed low or no activity for those 3.5 weeks so it's now alerting you to the fact that energy consumption has suddenly increased when you returned home, i.e. it's a 144% increase over the past 3.5 weeks where it showed none. Just guessing here mind...
Userlevel 2
Few things to check.

Are you sure you are reading the correct meter for your flat? If it's a converted building with many flats, it's sometimes easy to get them confused. There should be a meter reference (MPAN) on the meter which should agree with the MPAN reference on your OVO account - go to "My Profile" - "My Plan" screen to see it.

Can you turn off the main switch on the consumer unit / fusebox in your flat (it'll screw your clocks etc up of course and it'll be dark!) and go take a look at what the meter is doing? It should be completely stopped. If it's whirring around, it's either the wrong meter you've found or it's feeding something else as well as your flat which you need to have investigated.

If that all checks out, it could be the meter but you need to make sure nothing else is drawing power first. Heating sources are the big draws so start looking for them first. Is there an immersion heater on the hot water tank switched on? Are there electrical towel rails switched on? Is there any electrical underfloor heating?

Good luck with the easter egg hunt! 😉

EDIT - Out of interest, what were the dates and readings from the meter while you were away to get an idea of the usage?

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